Author Archives: Joel D. Hirst

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).

It Really Wasn’t So Bad, Before The Mayhem…

It’s difficult to articulate, much less to narrate the sense of loss those of us in distant places are feeling watching America’s epic struggle. I am, and have been for some time the King of Lost Places – a reign … Continue reading

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“I Ask You, Ladies and Gentlemen” by Leon Surmelian

Can an epic be simple and full of longing and nostalgia? Can it be gentle and childlike, growing with the reader as the protagonist also grows. Childhood and the fits and bursts of young love, frustration and that small bitterness … Continue reading

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History Has Started Again

I never expected to have a ringside seat to the end of an order. Edward Gibbon live-streamed on YouTube; Cicero in 140 characters. “The enemy is within the gates; it is with our own luxury, our own folly…”  You always … Continue reading

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Stories For Which One Could Die

Great talent rarely appears alone, silent on a hill or sitting solitary in an ancient monastery contemplating life and god and that which has come before. Gifts grow in a specially cultivated ecosystem prepared and set into which the seeds … Continue reading

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To Talk of Many Things… (Vol. #9 – Coronavirus)

“It seems a shame,” the Walrus said, “To play them such a trick. After we’ve brought them out so far, And made them trot so quick!” There’s a new resoluteness, a steadfastness, a single-mindedness that is gripping America in the … Continue reading

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“Burning Orchards” – by Gurgen Mahari

Is a classic really only a novel still read 100 years after its publication? And is it true that history only chooses the works of literature that will stand the test of time from the ‘winners’? From those novels that … Continue reading

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A Funny Anecdote…

About eight years ago, when I was a Fellow in Human Freedom at the George W. Bush Institute doing research, writing and speaking about the ongoing threats to democracy coming from Cuba and Venezuela’s “Bolivarian Alliance”, I was invited to … Continue reading

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